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Keeping Art Alive on the Riviera Maya

Artist and artisan Silva Rubio leads a local art collective that is spreading creativity to give back to society

On a recent trip to Playa’s Parque La Ceiba, I met local artist and artisan marmalade producer, Silvia Rubio. Participating in the weekly market there, she pointed out the new additions to the art in the park – large waterdrop-shaped stones which have been beautifully painted by members of ALAS, an art collective primarily based in Puerto Morelos. The work was done for free by the artists in just eight days as part of an initiative, upon invitation by local development firm ITM.  

Silvia arrived in Puerto Morelos in 1995 from Sonora, where she was born, via Mexico City, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel and Germany. She has since made Puerto Morelos her home. Today she paints and gathers painters in the collective, currently 69 of them from all over the world, with the intention of keeping art alive and promoting it in our beautiful region. Although they are mainly based in Puerto Morelos, there is no longer enough space there for them to paint and exhibit their work, and so they are presenting their work further afield, in Playa for example, in order to keep spreading their creativity.

I asked Silvia how the local community can get involved with their work. Artists are welcome to join the group and they are always looking for more space to exhibit, teach, promote and sell their work. Teaching what they know to younger generations is a priority for them at this time. Not only will it help art survive, but it also gives a chance to young artists who might not have such opportunities otherwise. The collective sees it as a way of giving back to society. Work is  currently underway on a small classroom in Puerto Morelos, but it isn’t enough. Space and accessibility are always an issue.

In addition to creating visual art, Silvia also creates artisanal marmalade according to a long family tradition. The 100 % organic marmalades will soon go on the market as Mermeladas de Luz, so look out for them locally, as well as her art.

I asked Silva what message she had for our readers, and she told me, “We are a rich country and it is such a pity that art, culture and crafts don’t have a chance to grow, to survive, to be kept alive, because products are being produced in China and sold in Tulum. With space, heritage and promotion, we can bring art to the people. The only way to change society is through art. Art makes you open your eyes, think and appreciate what life is.”  Thought-provoking words.

View the painted stones at Parque La Ceiba, Calle 1 Sur, Ejidal, Playa del Carmen.

Contact Silvia about collaborating with ALAS or for information on her marmalades at

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